8. URI Library, 80 Washington Street

Not About the Buildings

The Banned Series

About the Work
The Banned series of photographs examines the bizarre yet fascinating
concept of book-banning, and examines the inevitable irony about
censorship: when books are publicly challenged for being
inappropriate, they instantly become more alluring than they otherwise
might have been.

The book titles chosen for this series were banned or challenged for a
variety of reasons. All Quiet On The Western Front, for instance, was
banned in Nazi Germany for glorifying pacifism, but it was also banned
in Boston for obscene language, and the American edition was also
censored after the Book of the Month club requested that some of the
more unpleasant passages be removed.

In 1983, the Alabama State Textbook Committee called for the removal
of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl on the grounds that it is "a
real downer." Even today, the book is missing from many school

Some books have been challenged on the grounds that they promote a gay
agenda or advocate an anti-Christian lifestyle, and others because
they contain foul language or deal with race issues. Another frequent
explanation for challenges is that books are inappropriate for younger
audiences. Many people believe that rather than reading a difficult
work and discussing its issues, it would be more prudent to ban it
outright. I could not disagree more with this theory of dealing with
social issues, yet the concept nevertheless fascinates me.

About the Artist
Not About The Buildings is an events organization committed to
fostering a vibrant literary community in Providence. It was founded
in 2006 by Matthew Lawrence, a writer who was born and raised in Rhode

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